Here are some snapshots of my work in progress.
I suffer, as do many with the affliction of having to start something before I’ve finished the last thing. So although I’ve plotted out much of what I’m doing, for one reason or another I find myself being pulled away to work on other projects.
Here’s some of the work in progress currently occupying my desk.
When a grieving artist returns to her childhood home to seek absolution, her arrival forces long-buried secrets to be revealed.
Told over 6 x 60 mins, I have the first draft completed and am now in the process of adapting the script as a novel.
The first page goes a bit like this:
January 1st, 2000. 12:45 am.
The two women huddled together for protection as they hurried down the hill. Their interlocked hands gripped a small umbrella that failed to keep the icy rain from their faces. One of the women pulled the other along forcing her to keep pace while pointing a small torch in her free hand to light the way. Their trek took them down the lane from the top village to The Forstal. It was just over a mile distance but in the murky rain and the cold wind and after too many rum and cokes the walk seemed endless.
“What’s the hurry?” Karen shouted. Her faux fur coat was heavy with rain and water kept dripping into her eyes from the matching hat.
“I need to get back,” said Sophie, “It’s Nathan’s first time without me and I want to make sure he’s alright.”
“So you’ve been saying all night,” said Karen, “He’ll be fine. Lottie’s a good kid, I’m sure she’s coping without any problems. She’s sensible, churchy, capable and can sing like a fucking angel. Everything you’d want in a babysitter. So for the thousandth time, stop going on. He’ll be fine. What won’t be fine is you pulling me over in this pissing rain and into the ditch if you don’t slow down.”
“Sorry,” said Sophie, momentarily slowing her pace only to pick it up again.
Fireworks burst in the sky behind the two women, painting the rain heavy clouds and briefly transforming the drizzle into a multicoloured cascade.
Karen looked back at the display as the sound of the explosions, muffled by the weather, caught up with them. “I wouldn’t mind so much, but the party is only just getting underway,” she said. “I’ve still got plenty in my tank and I feel like seeing in the new millennium properly.”
“You didn’t have to come with me,” said Sophie, beginning to regret not making the journey home on her own. “You could have stayed. Or you could always go back.”
“Nah, I don’t fancy the walk,” said Karen. “Not in these shoes. Maybe we can carry on the party at yours.”
Sophie’s little torch did its best to penetrate the rain but was failing miserably. “It was a shame about the weather,” she said, “All that money spent on the fireworks, all that planning and then this.” Sophie nodded towards the downpour captured in the beam of the torch.
Karen pulled her collar higher around her neck. “Well, at least it stopped for the kiddies’ display,” she said. Then added, “For what it was worth.”
As they approached The Forstal, a few lights started to penetrate the wet night: bright Christmas lights that adorned the houses and front gardens. Illuminated reindeer, glowing snowmen amongst fake snow, coloured lightbulbs hanging unevenly from guttering – the wind banging them against rotting wooden fascias. Garden Christmas trees lit up like, well, Christmas trees, and for some reason, Sophie couldn’t fathom, fixed to someone’s roof a teddy bear in a racing car made from L.E.D.s that flashed enough to give anyone particularly photosensitive, fits. There was everything, except anything pertaining to the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Most of the houses had pickups on their drives. Pickups or old cars in various states of disrepair. In one garden was a sofa, either leftover from being pulled out for a summer barbecue several months before or thrown out as it had outlived its usefulness. Sophie’s house was the last in the row. It was much neater than all the others with a simple strand of Christmas lights, all of which worked, hanging in even loops from the eaves. Paul’s recently washed pickup was parked perfectly square to the driveway.
The two women hurried to the front door. Sophie handed the umbrella to Karen and searched in her handbag for her keys. They tumbled inside. Karen was going on about whether there was any alcohol in the house but Sophie didn’t register exactly what she was saying. Something wasn’t right. The lights were on, but there was no sound. Maybe Lottie had fallen asleep. But she was fifteen and would have been watching Jools Holland or something on the television. Sophie put up a hand to silence Karen.
“What is it?” Karen asked. “What’s wrong? I need the loo!” Karen continued to jabber.
Cautiously, Sophie pushed open the living room door. On the coffee table, sitting in the middle of a puddle of black paint was a sheet of artist’s paper with toddler-sized handprints splodged on it. Black watery liquid dripped from the table forming a small pool on the carpet.
Sophie’s throat tightened, unable to speak she turned to Karen. It was then they heard it. A faint moan. It came again, louder this time.
The moan, animal-like, was coming from upstairs…..
You’ll have to wait for the rest…
An adolescent girl must come to terms with tragedies of the past in order to face her future.
This is a feature in collaboration with filmmaker Luke Romo Hodges. The first draft of the screenplay is now complete.
6 x 30 mins
This is a dark comedy/heist gone wrong/romance/road story about a guy who must escape from pursuing gangster / corrupt police/girlfriend’s obsessive psycho boyfriend, while trying to hand the money back to the post office he was unwittingly coerced into robbing.
Nicely in progress.
At this moment in time (2021), the feeling of the massive loss the Covid pandemic has inflicted on the world is with most of us. Many of us lost family members or friends before we’d had the chance to reconcile differences, share stories or just say how much we love each other. Two Women is almost a “what if” story. What if we could just meet up for a quick chat with someone we’ve lost. What would we say? What would they say?
I set myself the task of writing a very simple, easy-to-film piece with one location and two players. So, I put two women on a bench in a cemetery and listened to what they were saying to each other. The result was a funny, poignant conversation with bittersweet undercurrents.